Did a senior Ukrainian pilot just defect to Russia with his Su-27 fighter loaded with NATO missiles, and electronics?!
Take a look at the viral claims, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Ukrainian Su-27 Pilot Defected To Russia
People are sharing two photos of a Ukrainian Su-27 fighter jet, claiming / suggesting that it was just flown to Russia by a defecting Ukrainian flight commander, fully-loaded with NATO missiles, radar, and electronic warfare equipment.
Spetsnaℤ 007 🇷🇺 : So this appeared in the base today😁
A Ukrainian “flight commander” flew a SU-27 jet over the Russian border and landed in one of our bases.
Can’t wait for the F-16…
Intelligence FRONT : A senior pilot who served as a squadron commander in the Ukrainian Air Force escaped with a Su-27 jet and took refuge in Russia. It is said that the pilot arrived with a large amount of information, documents and some intact western-made missiles, radar and electronic warfare pod on the plane. This is the first time such an incident has occurred, and the fact that the incoming pilot is a high-ranking figure with plenty of documentation, and that the planes are already NATO integrated and carry NATO equipment and missiles, constitutes a historical opportunity for the Russians regarding NATO air equipment and missiles. It was also a chance to obtain extensive information about the situation of the Ukrainian Air Force and air defense forces, as well as NATO activities in the country.
US Civil Defense News :🚨Update: Ukrainian flight captain decided he wanted to live and defected to Russia, flying and landing his fighter jet in Russia. They realize the war is over. They lost. It’s time to move on!!!
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No Evidence Ukrainian Su-27 Pilot Defected To Russia!
This appears to be another example of FAKE NEWS / VATNIK PROPAGANDA circulating on X (formerly Twitter), and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : Photos Were Taken At RIAT 1996
First, let me just point out that the claim or suggestion that a Ukrainian Su-27 fighter jet with the tail number 48 just defected to Russia is definitely false.
The two photos of the same Ukrainian Su-27 aircraft with the tail number 48 were not taken recently, or even in Ukraine or Russia.
The photos are of a Ukrainian Su-27S at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) show, was held at RAF Fairfore in Gloucestershire in the UK. They were taken in July 1996 – more than 27 years ago!
The photo above was taken by Mike Freer, who captioned it as a Ukrainian Su-27S “departing RIAT 96”.
The photo below was taken by Peter Fothergill, who took his photo on 19 July 1996, but only uploaded it to the AirFighters website on 1 September 2020.
Fact #2 : No Evidence Of Pilot Defecting With Su-27
Claims that a senior Ukrainian officer or flight commander defected to Russia with a Su-27 fighter jet loaded with NATO missiles and electronics have been circulating on X (formerly Twitter) since 18 November 2023.
However, none of those who posted the news have actually provided any evidence that such a defection took place.
The defection of a senior Ukrainian pilot would have been major news, especially if he flew a Su-27 fighter jet loaded with NATO missiles and electronics to Russia. Yet, Russian news media have not mentioned such a stunning development.
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Fact #3 : Ka-52 Pilot Reported A Pilot Defection
The claims appear to be based on a short report by the Russian state news agency, TASS. On 18 November 2023, TASS reported that a Ukrainian military pilot defected to Russia.
According to Alexey Voyevoda – a Ka-52 helicopter pilot who organised the flight, the pilot is now “consulting with the Federal Security Service”.
MOSCOW, November 18. /TASS/. A military pilot of the Ukrainian armed forces has defected to Russia, a Ka-52 helicopter pilot, who organized the flight, told TASS.
“The Ukrainian military pilot is in Russia, consulting with the Federal Security Service,” Alexey Voyevoda said.
Voyevoda explained that he cannot yet disclose the details of this operation.
You will note that the TASS report never said that it was a senior pilot, or a flight commander. It also never said that the pilot flew to Russia with a Su-27 fighter jet, much less one loaded with NATO missiles or electronics.
Fact #4 : Ka-52 Extraction Is Plausible
The Kamov Ka-52 Alligator (Hokum B) is a two-seater helicopter, seating a pilot and a gunner side-by-side.
While it is not capable of carrying any passengers, it is possible for a Ka-52 pilot like Alexey Voyevoda to fly into Ukraine without a gunner, to extract a defecting Ukrainian pilot.
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
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